SAS is the place where the snow pros come to train. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to avalanche safety education, and an American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) course provider.

In partnership with BCA, we provide Tracker 2 beacons and other avalanche safety gear to students. We also run Colorado's only free Beacon Park.


Level III: Advanced Avalanche Training for Professionals and Recreational Leaders
March 2-8, 2014 (FULL)

AIARE Level 1 Instructor Training Course
Jan 14-16, 2014 (FULL)

for custom courses

Custom Courses Available!
• Advanced Wilderness Life   Support (with Level I)
• Mountain Weather Course
• Mountain Mentor Course
• Work crews
• Mining industry
• Public Lands agencies
• Military Training
• Executive Retreats
• College Groups
• Outdoor Clubs
• Friends & Family


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Silverton Avalanche School Field Session. Photo courtesy of Matt Lanning. 2010.

.. Where the Snow Pros come to train. Since 1962 the Silverton Avalanche School has educated skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, ski patrollers, search and rescue personnel, and public safety personnel about the hazards of avalanches. Over 4,000 students have learned how to recognize avalanche hazards, determine snow stability, organize and carry out rescue operations and handle avalanche emergencies.

Silverton is the place to learn about avalanches and how to avoid them.  At 9,318 feet, the town located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains, 50 miles north of Durango, Colorado. Silverton is surrounded by the best backcountry terrain in Colorado and numerous avalanche paths -- a natural avalanche laboratory -- providing students with an active and accessible classroom.

Our Courses
Our courses are taught by nationally recognized members of the American Avalanche Association (AAA), American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), the Canadian Avalanche Association, and a host of mountain rescue specialists. The Silverton Avalanche School adheres to the AAA's Guidelines for Avalanche Course Curriculum. We are an AIARE Course Provider.

Why take a course from us?  We bring in avalanche professionals with extensive experience in understanding avalanche fundamentals.  Our Level 1 course focuses on the basics of safe backcountry travel and decision making in avalanche terrain.  Students are immersed in a mountain setting for the entire course.  Our Level 2 course brings in instructors who have operational experience guiding, forecasting and studying avalanche processes.  We select the very best instructors.  Many of our instructors have presented new methods at the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW) and are active in researching the fundamentals of avalanche processes. 

The Silverton Avalanche School is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public on how to play safe in avalanche terrain. All proceeds benefit San Juan County Search & Rescue.